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Birka Tournament Results

East Kingdom Gazette - Tue, 2015-01-27 12:51

The following tournament results are available from the oxhide bear-pit style tournaments traditionally held at A Market Day at Birka.

Heavy list comtat at A Market Day at Birka. Photo courtesy of Countess Caoilfhionn.

130 heavy list (rattan) fighters entered the lists, fighting a total of 3,252 bouts. The overall top finisher was Sir Douglas Henry. The top unbelted finisher was Hrafn the Bonesetter.

Complete Birka heavy list tournament results are available by clicking here.

69 rapier fighters entered the lists at A Market Day at Birka, and fought 1,164 bouts in total. The top finisher was Remy Delemontagne de Gascogne with 150 points.

Complete Birka rapier combat tournament results are available by clicking here.

Rapier Combat at A Market Day at Birka. Photo courtesy of Countess Caoilfhionn.




Filed under: Fencing, Heavy List Tagged: a market day at birka, birka, Tournament Results, Tourney Results

Cry Heralds needed for Gulf Wars

SCAtoday.net - Tue, 2015-01-27 12:28

Gulf War is on the horizon, and the Clarion Calls go throughout the land for volunteers to help make Gulf Wars XXIV "the best of the best."

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Categories: SCA news sites

Event Report: St. Swithin’s Bog Twelfth Night

AEthelmearc Gazette - Tue, 2015-01-27 09:41

Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope reports on the Bog Twelfth Night event.

St. Swithin’s Bog Twelfth Night included a wide array of activities, including martial tourneys as well as the usual feasting and arts. It was held at a new site with more space than the traditional site, which permitted the addition of fighting and fencing.

The rapier tourney had an unusual format. Fencers were each given a pin with five ribbons. They were then required to challenge other fencers to a bout with any conditions to which both would agree: best of three fights for one ribbon, first to win five fights for two ribbons, and so on. Some of the fencers and their consorts even bet ribbons on the outcome of certain bouts. It made for an interesting tournament with a good bit of amusement on the part of fencers and spectators alike.

Photo by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope

The heavy weapons bear pit tournament was dominated for a while by the chivalry, with Sir Alric of the Mists and Prince Timothy holding the field for long stretches, but in the end the winner was THLord Arnthor inn Sterki. All of the fighters enjoyed themselves, and good humor dominated the low-key list.

Photo by Arianna

Over the course of the day, spectators and combatants alike were encouraged to vote for the most chivalrous fighter in both lists. For the heavy weapons list, Lady Svava of St. Swithin’s Bog was chosen most chivalrous, not only for her honorable combat, but also for her spirit. She later received a Golden Alce from Their Majesties. On the rapier list, Lord Gunnar UlfrBani not only won the tourney but was also chosen most chivalrous, then capped off the day by receiving both the Bog’s martial award and an Award of Arms from the King and Queen.

Lord Gunnar with his Baronial award scroll for martial skill. Photo by Mistress Hilderun Hugelmann.

While the combatants were having their fun, Baron Iago and Baroness Emelia of St. Swithin’s Bog were faced with the daunting task of choosing their next Baronial Arts & Sciences Champion. Among the many lovely entries, they selected the painted mask made by Master Caoinleán Seanchaidh, called Tower, as the best item, and duly named him their A&S Champion, further enjoining him to enter the Seven Pearls A&S Competition at Ice Dragon.

Mask by Master Caoinleán Seanchaidh, called Tower. Photo by Arianna

Baronial award medallions in glass, entered by Lady Rachel Dalicieux. Photo by Arianna.

Pouch entered by Lord Ian Campbell of Glen Mor. Photo by Mistress Hilda

Embroidered pin cushion entered by Dame Vivienne Marie de Beauvais. Photo by Arianna

Beaded gown entered by Lady Andree of Snow Rose. Photo by Arianna

There was also a silent auction of donated items, as well as a 50/50 raffle, both to benefit the Bog’s coffers.

THLord Sionn the Lost ran dancing throughout the afternoon, with many gentles including Her Majesty and the Prince and Princess enjoying a mix of bransles and English Country dances.

Photo by Mistress Hilda.

Late in the afternoon, Master Duncan Blackwater arrived with one of his birds of prey in hand. As always, he was then surrounded by a delighted crowd eager to see the bird and hear about how Master Duncan raised and trained it. Prince Timothy and Princess Gabrielle’s children were especially enthralled.

Photo by Arianna

Lady of Misrule Grace of Steltonwald. Photo by Arianna.

Shortly before court, the Monarch of Misrule was chosen by means of tickets which had been distributed to all of the non-peers as they checked in at troll. The gentle thus selected was Grace of Steltonwald, who then processed into court with the royalty, Baron and Baroness, and was given a throne on which to sit through Court. At one point during royal court, Their Majesties explained to Grace that, as Lady of Misrule, she should encourage “shenanigans,” and His Majesty went on to demonstrate how it is done by seizing several hapless gentles from the audience (including Grace’s own Lord Magnus Bastiano di Vigo) and joining them on the dais in a rendition of the can-can. This was only Grace’s second event.

Photo by Arianna

A tasty lunch and the well-seasoned evening feast were created by a crew led by THLady Rosheen Rois O’Faye, who was awarded a Sycamore by Their Majesties for her skill in cooking and scribal arts. With His usual sense of mischief, King Titus silently beckoned the populace to tiptoe into the kitchen with Him to bestow this award on Her Ladyship there, rather than take her away from her feast preparations.

Photo by Arianna

The highlight of the feast was the beautifully decorated individual pies served as the final remove, with diners receiving their choice of blueberry or cherry.

Photo by Arianna

The evening ended with more dancing, again led by THLord Sionn. Though the weather outside had turned to freezing drizzle, all made their way safely home, pleased with their day spent with good friends, good food, and good fun.

Categories: SCA news sites

Samuel Morse the artist

History Blog - Tue, 2015-01-27 05:17

Before Samuel Morse developed the code that bears his name and patented the electromagnetic telegraph, he was a painter and a successful one at that. His teacher, Washington Allston, known today primarily for his Romantic landscapes, took the 20-year-old Samuel to study painting in England in 1811. In London he was admitted to the Royal Academy of Arts where instruction was focused on copying the works of the Renaissance Old Masters, drawing casts of ancient sculptures and live figure drawing. Morse’s works from this period were heavily influenced by the likes of Michelangelo and Raphael and were often mythological in theme, like 1812′s Dying Hercules.

Morse and Allston spent four years in England as the War of 1812 raged. When Morse returned to the United States in 1815, he made a name for himself as a portrait painter, receiving commissions from wealthy socialites and dignitaries like former President John Adams and Revolutionary War hero Marquis de Lafayette. He hit the road again in 1830, traveling through Italy, Switzerland and France to learn from observing the original works of the Old Masters he had studied copies of in London.

When he was in Paris in September of 1831, Morse conceived a monumental painting of the Salon Carré in the Louvre that would include dozens of the museum’s masterpieces. The works aren’t actually arranged in the one room when he painted them; this was a gallery picture, a fantasy arrangement of art in a single scene. Morse’s Gallery of the Louvre is the only major example of a gallery picture in American art history.

He squeezed 38 paintings and two sculptures from the Louvre collection into the six-by-nine-foot canvas, plus additional figures of museum visitors and copyists. Anthony Van Dyck and Titian have the most works on display with four apiece. Other artists represented are Tintoretto, Veronese, Leonardo da Vinci, Rubens, Poussin, Raphael, Rembrandt, Reni, Watteau, Correggio and Caravaggio. Click here (pdf) for a complete key to all the works and people in the painting.

He worked assiduously between September of 1831 and August of 1832 to copy the works he wished to include, some of which were positioned high on the walls. He built a moveable scaffold and lugged it around the vast halls of the Louvre so he could be at eye level with his subjects. Morse painting on his scaffold became something of a tourist draw in its own right. He also had to do a fair amount of math in composing this work. He had to calculate the proper scale and to figure out how they should be arranged on the canvas.

Then he had to put shoutouts to his people among the visitors. The trio in the back left corner are Morse’s good friend James Fenimore Cooper (who he hoped would buy the completed work) and Cooper’s wife and daughter. The woman sketching an art work in the center of the composition is Morse’s daughter, Susan Walker Morse. The man behind her giving her pointers is Morse himself. That sweet scene was symbolic of his purpose in creating this piece: to teach American artists and audiences about the important works of European art. He was also underscoring the value of a great public museum of art to artists and regular people, an institution that the United States lacked.

(Philadelphia’s Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts was founded in 1805 by artist and collector Charles Willson Peale, among others, but its collection at the time was casts of ancient sculptures. Coincidentally, the first major acquisition of the museum was a work by none other than Washington Allston: his monumental 1816 work The Dead Man Restored to Life by Touching the Bones of the Prophet Elisha. They had to mortgage the building to buy it.

The first public art museum in the United States was the Wadsworth Atheneum, founded in 1842 by Daniel Wadsworth, a great patrons of the arts, who seeded the new museum with many works from his personal collection.)

When the Louvre closed its doors for its yearly August vacation, Morse rolled up the canvas and packed it until his return to the United States in late 1832. He applied the finishing touches to the painting in late 1833 and exhibited the finished work in New York and New Haven. Morse hoped it would be a sensation, drawing huge crowds to pay the price of admission and securing him a much-desired commission for a painting in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. It was not. The exhibitions lost money, and within a few years Morse had given up painting to focus on the telegraph.

It was purchased for much less than Morse had hoped in 1834 by George Hyde Clarke for his neoclassical mansion Hyde Hall in Ostego County, New York. After Clarke’s death, Gallery of the Louvre was purchased by former mayor of Albany John Townsend. From him it passed to his daughter Julia Townsend Munroe of Syracuse, New York. She loaned it to Syracuse University in 1884 and then donated it to the university in 1892. Ninety years later, Morse’s dream finally came true. Chicago businessman, art collector and founder of the Terra Foundation for American Art museum, Daniel J. Terra, Ronald Reagan’s Ambassador at Large for Cultural Affairs, bought Gallery of the Louvre from Syracuse University for $3.25 million, at that time the highest price ever paid for a piece of American art. It’s been at the Terra Foundation ever since.

In 2010 Gallery of the Louvre underwent a six-month conservation by experts in American painting restoration Lance Mayer and Gay Myers. They discovered that Morse was as inventive in his painting as he was in communication technology, sometimes to their chagrin. He mixed varnish and oil paint together instead of painting with oils and then sealing the canvas with varnish. This was problematic for the conservators because varnish discolors. When it’s a layer on top of the paint, it can be removed with appropriate solvents that won’t damage the oil paint beneath. When conservators did a solvent test on Gallery of the Louvre, they found that all of them damaged the combined varnish and paint.

The Terra Foundation documented the conservation with a video, A New Look: Samuel F. B. Morse’s “Gallery of the Louvre”, which is not available online in its entirety but there are six clips from it below.

The conservation was successful, bringing out details that had become obscured over time. After it was complete, the painting was subject of three symposia — at the Yale University Art Gallery in April of 2011, the National Gallery in April of 2012 and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in April of 2013 — which generated scholarly essays on the work by art historians, professors, curators and conservators. Those essays have been published in a book that is a companion piece to a new traveling exhibition of the painting, Samuel F. B. Morse’s Gallery of the Louvre and the Art of Invention.

The exhibition opened Saturday at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. It will be there until April before moving on to the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, Texas (May 23rd, 2015 – September 7th, 2015), the Seattle Art Museum (September 22nd, 2015 – January 10th, 2016), the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas (January 2016 – April 2016), the Detroit Institute of Arts (June 2016 – September 2016), the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts (October 2016 – January 2017), the Reynolda House Museum of American Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina (February 2017 – June 2017), the New Britain Museum of American Art in New Britain, Connecticut (June 2017 – October 2017), and finally the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University in Stanford, California (November 2017 – January 2018).

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

A Question of Peerage: Your Opinion Matters

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2015-01-26 22:02

As a result of the First Quarter Director’s Meeting, interest in the Additional Peerage Proposal has soared, with postings on the subject proliferating in social media venues.

The Gazette has compiled a list of useful links and deadlines so that you can access pertinent information from one page.

Comments to the Board of Directors
As noted in Their Majesties’ letter, published by the Gazette this morning, the SCA Board of Directors will be having an Executive Session on February 2nd to discuss the issue. Comments from the populace are strongly encouraged, and may be sent to comments@sca.org.

According to the Board, they received commentary from less than 2% of the membership over the entire three year exploratory process and all requests for comments on the rapier peerage issue. The Directors do read the emails, and you do not need to be a paid member to send your comments. If you do not write, your voice will not be heard; it is that simple.

Since they have already rejected the proposal for a rapier-only peerage, that option is not on the table at this time. One of the options they are considering is an Omnibus peerage for all non-rattan martial arts – not only rapier, but also archery, thrown weapons, equestrian, siege, combat archery, etc. If you would like to send your opinions to the Board of Directors, please write to them this week, before the Feb. 2nd Executive Session, at comments@sca.org. ~ from Their Majesties’ letter

Unofficial Additional Peerage Survey
Mistress Euriol of Lothian of Æthelmearc and Baron Antonio di Rienzo Ruspoli of Drachenwald have privately funded an unofficial survey on the additional peerage question. The survey is set to record a single response per IP address. The goal is to collect 2000 responses, which makes for a good statistical sampling. The polling results will be sent to the Board of Directors before the February 2nd Executive Session. It is their hope that people will share the link as widely as possible over the next few days. More than 500 responses have been received so far.

Click here to take the Additional Peerage Poll.

It should be noted that this survey should not be taken in lieu of sending private emails to the Board; indeed, the survey encourages comments and also gives the SCA email at the end.

Letter from Their Majesties
Their Majesties’ letter to the Æthelmearc populace can be found here.

Letter from Their Highnesses
Their Highnesses’ letter can be found here.

Official Board Announcement
An official statement from the Board of Directors can be found here.

Information on the Original Additional Peerage Exploratory Committee
You can find information on the original Additional Peerage Exploratory Committee (APEC) and a link to the original committee report here.

Second Quarter Board Meeting
The Second Quarter 2015 Board Meeting will be taking place in the Middle Kingdom on Saturday, April 18, 2015 at the Embassy Suites Cincinnati – River Center 10 East Rivercenter Boulevard, Covington Kentucky, 41011. Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend.

Categories: SCA news sites

Land procedure changes for Pennsic this year.

SCAtoday.net - Mon, 2015-01-26 14:55

There will be significant changes to Pennsic Land procedures for Pennsic War 44, including new "early in" and block seniority rules.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Call for Applicants - Society Chronicler

SCAtoday.net - Mon, 2015-01-26 11:30

The Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) is seeking candidates for the position of Society Chronicler. The Interim Society Chronicler’s warrant ends in August 2015. In order to ensure a smooth transition, applications for the position of Society Chronicler are now being accepted.

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Categories: SCA news sites

An Announcement from Their Majesties of Æthelmearc on the Additional Peerage

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2015-01-26 08:30

Unto the good populace of Æthelmearc do Titus, Rex, and Anna Leigh, Regina, give greetings!

As you are all aware, there has been a great deal of emotional and passionate discussion over the past week regarding the SCA Board of Directors’ decision not to implement a rapier peerage. The confusion over whether or not the BoD was advocating the knighting of fencers added further heat to the SCA community’s concerns.

We would like to share with you what has taken place among the Crowns of the Known World over the past week, and what possibilities We anticipate over the coming weeks and months.

First, we would like to thank David Keen (Master David of Caithness), our Kingdom Ombudsman on the Board, who has done his best to keep Us informed of the Board’s plans and thought processes. The Board has been flooded with letters from gentles all over the Known World, and is well aware of the sense of urgency felt by SCA members regarding resolution of this issue. They will be holding an executive session on Monday, Feb. 2, to discuss possible options. Since they have already rejected the proposal for a rapier-only peerage, that option is not on the table at this time. One of the options they are considering is an Omnibus peerage for all non-rattan martial arts – not only rapier, but also archery, thrown weapons, equestrian, siege, combat archery, etc. If you would like to send your opinions to the Board of Directors, please write to them this week, before the Feb. 2nd Executive Session, at comments@sca.org.

In the meantime, the Crowns of the Known World have also been discussing the issue. As you might imagine, getting 19 couples from all over North America, Australia, and Europe to come to agreement on a subject this controversial is not an easy task. One thing We are agreed upon is that all endeavors in the Society deserve a path to peerage. There is also a general consensus that if the BoD does not act on this matter very soon, then the Crowns may take the matter into Their own hands.

One of the barriers to knighting rapier fighters is the 1999 Seneschal’s ruling, referenced by the BoD in their announcement of Monday, January 19, barring the knighting of non-rattan fighters. We are hoping that the Board and Society Seneschal will not sanction any Crowns who choose to ignore that ruling. We know how contentious knighting someone for fencing would be, and it is not Our first choice. That said, the Crowns of at least four Kingdoms have indicated that they are prepared to take that step if the Board cannot come to agreement on a solution to this issue. We can only wait and see what the Board chooses to do, continue discussions with the other Crowns, and then make Our own decisions accordingly. We are talking to the Chivalry and White Scarves of Æthelmearc, and may poll them regarding their opinions on this matter since they are the ones who would be most directly affected.

We appreciate thoughtful, impassioned, and courteous discussions of this issue. Know that We are listening and want to find the best solution for all concerned.

In service,

Titus Scipio Germanicus and Anna Leigh
King and Queen of Æthelmearc

Categories: SCA news sites

Were Cervantes’ bones under piles of old books?

History Blog - Mon, 2015-01-26 05:53

Last April, the Convent of the Barefoot Trinitarians in Madrid, burial place of Miguel de Cervantes, author of The Adventures of the Ingenious Nobleman Don Quixote of La Mancha, one the most important books in the Western literary canon, was scanned with ground-penetrating radar in the first phase of a search for the iconic writer’s body. Cervantes was buried in the convent in 1616, and while the location of the grave was known at the time, when the convent was enlarged in 1673 the burials were left unmarked. Hoping to be able to provide a memorial marker worthy of Spain’s greatest writer and a locus for literary pilgrims to pay their respects, historian Fernando de Prado raised funds from the city of Madrid and private donors to sweep the convent for possible burial sites.

The initial GPR sweeps detected anomalies consistent with graves in three spots in the crypt under the transept of the convent church. Historical records indicate there were at least two other people buried in the same area where Cervantes was interred, making the discovery of three graves particularly noteworthy. In a poetic twist, the space had been rented to a publishing company for years, so before the team could examine it they had to remove piles of old books and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves.

Now a team of archaeologists and forensic anthropologists has broken ground in the crypt. The small crypt has been turned into a lab for the time being, with up to 20 experts working in it at the same time (there are 30 people in the team). They will examine the human skeletal remains for evidence that points to Cervantes.

Because Cervantes has no living descendants, even if DNA is recoverable from the skeletal remains, comparisons will be tricky if not impossible. His sister Luisa de Cervantes was buried in a marked grave in a convent 20 miles out of Madrid so there’s a chance her remains might provide a means for comparative DNA analysis, but there’s no guarantee the convent will allow her bones to be exhumed and even if it does, there’s no guarantee a testable sample of 400-year-old DNA can be extracted.

Researchers will most likely have to rely on physical evidence like the marks of wounds he received while fighting aboard the galley Marquesa during the Battle of Lepanto on October 7th, 1571. He was shot twice in the chest and once in the left arm. The bullet to his arm broke both radius and ulna and severed a nerve. He was a young man of 24 when he was wounded; he never used his left hand again. Should they find a left arm bearing signs of having been shot, broken and atrophied from 45 years of disuse, this will be strong evidence that they’ve found the remains of the author.

Cervantes asked to be buried in the Convent of the Barefoot Trinitarians because he had a profound connection to them. The convent’s order, the Order of the Most Holy Trinity for the Redemption of the Captives, was founded in the 12th century to help ransom Christians taken captive during the crusades or by non-Christian pirates. When Cervantes and his younger brother were captured by Algerian pirates in 1575, the Order of the Most Holy Trinity helped his family raise the ransom to free them after five years of slavery in Algiers.

Since the convent was a small, poor one, few people chose to be buried there. Cervantes’ debt of gratitude to the order inspired his choice. Given the small number of burials, what are the odds there will be the remains of a completely different person, also an adult male of around 70 years old at time of death, with the same injuries? Last year the figures bandied about were a dozen to 15 people buried in the convent, but the crypt has about 36 burial niches in the wall. That corresponds to the number of chaplains the convent has had over the centuries before the niches in the north wall were plastered over. The thin layer of plaster, already peeling, will be removed. Any writing on the niche doors identifying who was buried there will be documented and endoscopic cameras will be threaded through holes to examine the remains.

The real hope is in the three grave sites under the terracotta tile floor, but if they prove fruitless, there are four other possible locations about two meters under the floor of the church that the GPR sweep indicated as possible grave sites.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Curia Report

East Kingdom Gazette - Sun, 2015-01-25 22:57

Their Majesties Edward and Thyra convened East Kingdom Curia in Stonemarche on Sunday, January 25 after Market Day at Birka ended. Their Highnesses had to leave early due to the impending snowstorm, which forced them to reschedule modern business travel plans.

The agenda for Curia, which can be viewed on the East Kingdom Seneschal’s web site (http://seneschal.eastkingdom.org/curia.php), was lengthy and time constraints resulted in some items being tabled for a second Curia at Mudthaw. Details are still being worked out and will be posted on the East Kingdom Seneschal’s page as soon as they are available.

The agenda included name changes to four East Kingdom Awards (the Queen’s Honor of Distinction, the King’s Esteem of Merit, The Tyger of Valor, and the Gift of the Golden Lyre). His Majesty, with the assistance of Mistress Alys Mackyntoich, explained that they were necessary because Corpora requires that our awards be registered with the Society College of Arm. The College has specific rules for award names, with which these four awards were not compatible. His Majesty was at pains to assure the populace that they had consulted with the Royal Peers who had instituted the awards in question to be certain that they understood the intent of the award and were choosing name corrections which were as close as possible to conveying that intent while still meeting the requirements of the Society College of Arm. Master Ryan MacWhyte, Brigantia Herald, has been working on bringing all of the Kingdom Awards in line for the past 2 years, and with this set, the job is complete.

Someone in the populace inquired as to whether this requirement also applied to Baronial level awards. Brigantia indicated that it did and that most were already in compliance. He indicated that he would be offering assistance to those groups which would need to make changes, once the Kingdom level changes were settled.

The agenda included changes to several sections of law relating to Baronial selection procedures. Their Majesties stated more than once that their intent was not to make any material changes to the way things work, but only to clarify points, and remove duplication where the same procedure is currently described in multiple places in Law. The list of dates when specific baronies are due to be polled is also being removed, as it was needed only while the term limits were being phased in. Now that all groups have new Barons and/or Baronesses chosen since the laws regarding term limits were enacted, it was felt that the schedule of which groups were due for elections would be best maintained by the Kingdom Seneschal rather than listed in Kingdom Law.

Language will also be added clarifying the procedure for notifying local groups of Their Majesties’ decisions regarding their pollings, as this has been a source of some confusion in the past. The new text also specifies that while the decision made by a reign is binding, the investiture may take place in a subsequent reign, if it’s not possible to schedule one between the date of the decision and the next Coronation.

Language was proposed for adding a Thrown Weapons Championship Tourney to the list of East Kingdom Champions Tourneys, and allowing throwers to be included in the Queen’s Guard. Their Majesties expressed strong support for the Thrown Weapons community, but also expressed considerable concern that adding another required Royal Progress would make an already challenging schedule even more difficult. In some reigns the required championship events and other Kingdom events such as Twelfth Night, in combination with Baronial Investitures, threatens their ability to attend non-mandated events. Their Majesties would like to hear commentary from the Kingdom regarding creative solutions to the problem. Mistress Mercedes, the Kingdom Seneschal, will be receiving the commentary. An announcement of a dedicated email address for it will be forthcoming shortly.

The question of making Thrown Weapons one of the Kingdom Champions Tourneys was tabled for a future Curia. The item making them eligible for inclusion in the Queen’s Guard was passed with strong support from the assembled Curia.

A proposed change to the Law section governing groups holding events outside their borders was approved with minor language changes.

A revision to the Kingdom’s complaints procedure was approved as proposed by Their Majesties. His Majesty explained that under the current Law, if someone wishes to make any kind of complaint against the heirs, or against any territorial prince/princess, should the East have a principality at some point in the future, he cannot utilize the current Complaint Procedure to provide any kind of due process at the kingdom level. He can only rule unilaterally on the matter, which would then probably be taken to the Board of Directors by whichever party fell short of their desired outcome. Their Majesties wish to afford future royalty the opportunity to deal with such matters in the context of the Kingdom’s resolution process, so that everyone involved can have the benefit of due process. Their Majesties did specify that the complaint procedure would not be retroactive.

The proposed change to Kingdom Law to allow persons who do not live within the geographic boundaries of a group to serve as officers or autocrats for that group, if local policies permit, was tabled for the follow-up Curia at Mudthaw, as the time period for which the room had been rented was exhausted.

Filed under: Law and Policy Tagged: curia

Sterlynge Schola: A Mocking Good Court and a Gallery of Classes

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sun, 2015-01-25 20:45

Please enjoy these photos of Sterlynge Schola, held January 17th in Sterlynge Vayle. Scroll to the end to enjoy a link to the first video on the Gazette’s new YouTube channel!

Viking Bling, as worked on by Othindissa.

Her Highness, industriously making Lucet cord during an arts discussion.

Svanna demonstrates some particularly fine drop-spindle technique.

Fiona the prepared, with the Gaston Phoebus volumes she uses to discuss hounds coursing.

Don Orlando, on how and why to keep a journal for fight and fence improvement.

The Kingdom Arts Champion, THLady Christine inghean Grioghair, displays one of her beautiful pieces.

….Goldwork, with pearls, were featured at the Beginning Goldwork Embroidery class.

Her Excellency of Delftwood poses for a quick portrait during her Beginning Illumination class.

Samples of the Introduction to Illumination class, geared for those who usually draw with stick figures!

The processional for Mock Court at Sterlynge Schola. This clip shows the point of Mock court, a learning opportunity, with explanations for who sits where. Starring TRHs Timothy and Gabrielle standing in as the monarchs, and Master Fridrikr from Thescorre as the officiating Herald.

You can find the link to the Mock Court video here on the Gazette’s new YouTube channel!

Categories: SCA news sites

Understanding SCA Jargon

East Kingdom Gazette - Sun, 2015-01-25 18:23

The following article is graciously provided by Countess Marguerite inghean Lachlainn.

26+ SCA Phrases you may need to explain to Newcomers.

Person who is responsible for running an event. Although the dictionary definition of autocrat means an absolute ruler or dictator, in reality an autocrat for an event has the ultimate responsibility but sometimes limited control over all aspects of the day, especially if the event is a Royal Progress. In conversation the term is slowly being replaced by the more accurate “event steward”, but official SCA and East Kingdom documents still use the word autocrat.
Awards or “Award System”
Awards are given by the King and Queen or by landed Barons and Baronesses to acknowledge the excellence of one of their subjects. The Award System is used to describe the entire process that culminates in giving an award.  Everything from writing someone in for the award, to the additional advising of the Crown for a polled order, to the decision by the Royalty or Landed Baronials to bestow one.
A casual word used to describe the insignia of the awards which a person has received in the SCA.  Commonly anyone who has received an award will wear the medallion or token or symbolism of that award on their person, especially when attending court. The chest that the King and Queen store award medallions and other insignia is sometimes called the ‘bling box’
Combat Archery
Chiv or The Chiv
The Order of the Chivalry.
Cookie or “a cookie” or “the cookie”
A slang noun used to describe an award that someone is actively and obviously working toward.  It is almost exclusively used in a derogatory manner, as in “He is only taking on that work “for the cookie”.
The Dark Side
  The sport of crossbow shooting.
An abbreviation of the rapier phrase “Death from behind.” Death From Behind is an alteration of the rules of engagement that allows the the combatants to remove opponent from a melee combat by (safely) sneaking up behind them in a melee and delivering a killing blow.  It is a phrase often used to confirm understanding of the rules of the engagement (“Are we doing DFB in this battle?”).  It can also be used as slang verb to describe clever and sneaky action.  (“I flanked the line and DFBed 2 or 3 guys before they took me out.  It was epic!”)
The Dream
This ancient and loaded phrase has been used to describe the SCA itself, and also the activity of providing a medieval experience to others.  This, of course, means that “The Dream” has very personal definitions for anyone who holds it. Because debate on the definition of the term has lasted so long and has varied so widely, it is often said that the problem with using “The Dream” is the inclusion of the word “The”. 
4th Peerage
A catch all noun used to describe a potential new peerage created by the SCA Board of Directors. In some kingdoms there is already a 4th peerage, the Rose, and some kingdoms assert the Royal Peers are the 4th peerage, so this term is sometimes factually inaccurate. The discussion about the creation of a new Rapier peerage is occasionally referred to as the debate about the 4th Peerage.  The other 3 Peerages are the Chivalry, the Laurel and the Pelican.
A token or a small gift understood to be a mark of the bestower’s high esteem of the person receiving the token.  In the romantic tradition of the SCA it is often assumed to be a gift of a lady to her lord, or a fighter to their consort, although that that is by no means a hard and fast rule.  Additionally, the Queen is expected to bestow her favor (generally a piece of cloth embroidered with her symbol) to members of the populace who impress her or whom she wishes to inspire.
The person who is responsible for producing the feast and/or day-board at an event.  This word is derived from the term “autocrat”.
Heavy or Heavy List
The Showcase sport of the SCA. Often described as “hitting your friends with sticks”. Other kingdoms refer to this same type of sport as “Chivalric Combat”. Sometimes the term “Heavies” is used to describe the people who participate in that sport. In order to become the ruling monarch, you must be able to win the twice annual Crown Tournament which is a Heavy List tournament.
An abbreviation of the phrase “King’s and Queen’s”. There are several events a year that start with the phrase Kings and Queens, Championship events where the two winners are named as the Champions of the King and Queen for the following year.  Example: Kings and Queens Bardic Champions, Kings and Queens Equestrian Champs, etc.
Lists or “The Lists”
This noun has two different meanings  Depending on context it can either refer to email lists (The lists were particularly active today) or the tournament field. (‘I will meet you on the lists and we will go a round or two.”)
Derived from the use of the word “Mundania” in Piers Anthony’s Xanth series to describe a non magical world, “mundane” is used to describe anything that is not part of the SCA.  It can be used as an adjective (“In my mundane job I am an IT consultant”) or as a noun, (“My parents are mundanes.”)
Newcomer.  Someone who has been participating in the SCA for 6 months or less.
Order of Precedence. The master list of who got what award and in what order they got them, and therefore who out-ranks who. This list matters in The East most when lining up combatants for Crown Tournament, otherwise the impact of the OP on day to day interaction is limited to individual reactions to perceived rank. A duke outranks a count, but in practice most people treat them both as royal peers if you met them talking together in a hallway. The East Kingdom Order of Precedence is maintained by the Shepard’s Crook Herald.
Peer Fear
The sometimes irrational fear that Peers of the Realm are more intimidating, and harder to talk to or interact with than non peers. This is a condition that particularly afflicts newcomers, apprentices and protegees, but it is not limited to them.
The work that is done behind the scenes to make the other aspects of the society function. In order for there to be combat, marshals must provide their service marshaling. In order for us to have an event, someone must provide the service of checking people in at the gate, running the event, or keeping the books. People whose enjoyment of the Society is in performing that type of service are sometimes said to be “on the service track” or described as “service junkies” if they are particularly fervent.  Ant. Toxic Service is service that leaves the society in a worse state than if it had not been done, either because the service is bad/unneeded or because it is done in such a way that it drives others away, and prevents others from providing service. – Hat tip to David Lockhart for that definition.
A Heavy List fighter. This term is often used to describe a member of the Northern Army of the East Kingdom, (“I am a Northern Army Thug”) but it can be used to describe a soldier of the East Kingdom.
The sport of thrown weapons.  Named because of the sound of a successful stick into the target.
Tin Hat
A semi-derogatory term used to describe a group of people who wear coronets. (“I don’t want to go to that party, all the Tin Hats will be there.”)  It can also be used as a self mocking term by the Dukes, Countesses and Barons/esses who wear the coronets to remind themselves not to take themselves too seriously. (“I’m just a pipe-fitter from Jersey in a Tin Hat” -Attributed to Prince Omega)
A small bauble given as a gift to a performer or artisan in thanks for excellence in sharing their art.  These tokens are often hand made, and may represent some aspect of the heraldry of the person gifting the token. These small gifts are greatly valued and are more important to the people who receive them than the value of the actual gift.  They are often saved and put into one place, so that when the artist is having a crisis of faith in their own work they can be pulled out to remind the artist that they have accomplished good work in the past and will do so again.
The table at the front of events that takes your money, makes sure you have a signed waiver and gives you a site token.  Related: To “Troll in” means to go through the process of checking in at the front desk of the event.  Use of this phrase is slowing falling out of favor (as it implies that the people working the desk are “troll like”) and many autocrats now refer to this as “Gate.”
A heavy List fighter who is not yet a member of the Chivalry.  Curiously, this term is not usually used to mean a generic fighter who presumably does not wear a colored belt, but more specifically someone who is squired to a member of the Chivalry and who has received a red belt from their Knight/Master but who has not yet been elevated to a white belt/baldric.  It can also refer to the team of people who will be fighting in the “Unbelted Champions Battle” at the Pennsic War,   Related: “Belts” or “Belted” means a member of the Order of the Chivalry.
Pennsic War.  Although the East Kingdom hosts many events that have a subtitle that contains the word “war” (Great North Eastern War, Southern Region War Camp) In the East Kingdom use of the phrase “Are you going to War?” always refers to Pennsic.  It is a mark of how important that event is in the minds of the Eastern populace.

NB: Some elements of this article were crowd sourced from a post from Facebook. The author is grateful for the assistance of her friends in the SCA.

Filed under: Tidings Tagged: jargon

Æthelmearc Signs the Treaty of the Golden Lance

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sun, 2015-01-25 12:30

On the 27th day of July Anno Societatis XLVIII, Æthelmearc joined with the Kingdoms of Ansteorra, Caid, Trimaris and Atlantia in recognizing equestrians within their kingdoms with a Grant level award by signing the Treaty of the Golden Lance.

During the reign of Count Isenwulf Thorolfssone and Countess Rosalinda of Castile, it was decided that The Order of the White Horn would no longer be used to recognize all those martial disciplines other than Heavy fighting (Rattan). This Order would be designated for those skilled in Thrown Weapons alone and that other Orders would be designated for Combat Archery, Siege, and Equestrian. At that time, it was decided that Æthelmearc would join other Kingdoms in the use of the Order of the Golden Lance in order to recognize its equestrians. After determining the procedures necessary, this original plan came to fruition during the reign of Duke Maynard von dem Steine and Duchess Liadain ni Dheirdre Chaomhanaigh. Through their efforts, the Treaty was signed at Pennsic in 2013.

Shishido Tora (Gozen), the current Kingdom Equestrian Officer, contacted the appropriate people to determine the process which needed to be fulfilled in order that Æthelmearc could enter into the Treaty with the other Kingdoms. This involved creating a document which would be signed, coordinating with the other Royalty members to ensure their attendance at Pennsic along with their Principal Heralds, and setting a date and place for the Treaty to be signed. Under the direction of the Crown, these details were “ironed out” and it was determined that the Treaty would be signed immediately after Opening Ceremony during the Known World Party.

After the Opening Ceremonies were completed, the members of the Royalty retired to the East Kingdom’s pavilion on the field, where the Known World Party was set to begin. Initially the Treaty was laid upon the tables designated for the use of Æthelmearc so that they could share their food and wine with the attendees. Due to the congestion in this area, the Treaty was later moved to a central area away from any liquids which could endanger the paper upon which the Treaty was drawn. After a short time, all the parties had signed the Treaty.

With the signing of the Treaty and inclusion of the Order in Kingdom Law, equestrians of the Kingdom can now be recognized by this Order for their skills in the equestrian arts as well as service to the equestrian community. Companions of the Order are entitled to wear a badge of the Order and/or a ribbon “Sable edged Or charged with a lance Or” worn on either the calf or above the elbow, or as a pennon bearing the badge of the Order on their Tournament lance. Additionally, when traveling throughout the Known World, they are recognized by these other Kingdoms for their rank which is retained if they relocate.

The pictures below show the Royalty and Principal Heralds of the Kingdoms of Ansteorra, Caid, Trimaris, Atlantia and Æthelmearc signing the Treaty. (Note that titles are not included, as the persons are identified by their offices at the time of signing. ) The Treaty, which was created by Shishido Tora, is also shown below after signing.  Note that the descriptions appear above the relative photograph.

The first to sign the Treaty was the King of Trimaris, Kurn O’Farrell of Ulster. The second picture shows the Triskele Herald, Posadnik Sasha Gregor’evich Vilanov, signing the Treaty. (My apologies as I was unable to capture the image of Queen Eridani Aureus signing the Treaty.)


The Queen of Ansteorra, Gwen verch Cynwrig de Ynys Mon signed for both herself and her King (Lochlan Dunn).  Avery Shaw, Proxy to the Star Principal Herald, Andrewe Baldwyn, signing the Treaty.

The King and Queen of Atlantia, Amos and Ysabella.  (My apologies as I was unable to capture the image of the Queen actually signing the Treaty.) 

 The Triton Herald, Gisela vom Kreuzbach, signing the Treaty.







The King of Caid, Sven Örfhendur and Quuen Cassandra Zoë Paganel, sign the Treaty.










The Crescent Principal Herald, Cormac Mor signs as the King of Æthelmearc looks on.


The Queens of Æthelmearc and Caid confer at the Treaty signing prior to Æthelmearc signing.  The King of Æthelmearc, Maynard von dem Steine signs the Treaty for Æthelmearc.




The Queen of Æthelmearc, Liadain ni Dheirdre Chaomhanaigh, signing the Treaty.


Silver Buccle Herald, Kameshima Zentarou Umakai, signing the Treaty.


Signed Treaty of the Golden Lance and the artist and author of this article, Mistress Shishido Tora (Gozen). The original is maintained by Æthelmearc and the four signing Kingdoms each received a copy of the Treaty.

This article was originally published in the newsletter for the Kingdom of Æthelmearc, the Æstel.




Categories: SCA news sites

Mons Meg leaves Edinburgh Castle for tune-up

History Blog - Sun, 2015-01-25 05:19

Mons Meg, the six-ton 15th century cannon that guards the parapets of Edinburgh Castle, has left her post for the first time in 30 years. Before dawn on Monday, January 19th, a crew of specialists strapped Meg up so she could be gingerly lifted out of her carriage by a crane, loaded onto a flatbed truck and transported to an off-site facility where Historic Scotland experts will give her a thorough examination and do necessary conservation work. The oak and iron carriage that has been supporting her since 1934 also went along for the ride.

Here’s a neat timelapse of Mons Meg being lifted off her carriage while dawn breaks:

Richard Welander, Head of Collections for Historic Scotland said: “Mons Meg undergoes regular ‘health checks’ each year and is lifted off its carriage every five years for a closer inspection.

“This time it’s getting a major service, which means it must leave the castle for the first time for 30 years. The last time Mons Meg left was in March 1985, when she went to the Royal Armouries research establishment in Kent for a short technical examination.

“We’ll be using state-of-the-art equipment to examine the cannon and carriage inside and out, to assess their condition. Then we’ll commence with treatment and restoration, which is a delicate and specialist task.”

There have been a great many technological advances since the last time Mons Meg got the full treatment. Historic Scotland conservators will laser-scan the cannon and create a 3D model to reveal issues not visible to the naked eye. The current paint will be stripped using a pressure wash system and bead blasting. That will expose the iron surface for proper conservation. Once Meg is cleaned and dried, she will be re-coated in protective paint.

Historic Scotland is hoping their conservation analysis will also shed some light on the history of the cannon. Much legend has grown up around her over the centuries, so this is an exciting opportunity to fill in a few blanks. Mons Meg was made in 1449 for Phillip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, to present as a gift to King James II of Scotland, Phillip’s grand-nephew by marriage. (James’ queen consort was Mary of Guelders, daughter of Catherine of Cleves, whose mother Marie of Burgundy was Phillip’s elder sister.) It was constructed by Phillip’s artillery master Jehan Cambier in Mons, County of Hainaut (modern-day Belgium), out of iron staves clamped together by iron hoops. Its massive 20-inch barrel, still one of the largest cannon calibre in the world, could fire 330-pound balls up to two miles.

James II took delivery of Mons Meg, known at the time just by variants of “Mons,” in 1454. Sixteen years later, he had the giant cannon transported 50 miles south to aid in the siege of Roxburgh Castle, one of the last remaining English strongholds in Scotland. The Scottish forces were successful — they ultimately took the castle once and for all — but James was killed in action when one of his own bombards (not Meg) exploded. His wife Mary ordered Roxburgh Castle razed.

The records of the Lord High Treasurer of Scotland note an expenditure of 18 shillings on July 10th, 1489, to have “Monss” carried by command of King James IV, James II’s grandson, to besiege Dumbarton. There James IV deployed Meg’s might against an insurrection led by Matthew Stewart, Earl of Lennox, and Robert Lyle, Lord Lyle. That venture was less successful. The siege was broken by a negotiated surrender of the rebellious lords on condition that a new Parliament be convened.

James used Mons Meg again in 1497 at the siege of Norham Castle in northern England. Meg did her part — the castle took a lot of damage — but the two-week siege ended when English reinforcements arrived.

Meg was kept in fighting condition for a few more decades. Her last military service was in James V’s navy, after which, from the 1540s or so, she was retired from active engagement but was fired on important ceremonial occasions like the signing of the treaty of marriage between five-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots, and three-year-old Francis, Dauphin of France, in July 1558. She was fired for the last time on October 14th, 1681. Here’s a description of the event from the Domestic Annals of Scotland (1859) by Robert Chambers. The quote within the quote is from Historical Notices of Scottish Affairs (1848) by Sir John Lauder of Fountainhall.

The Duke of York paying a visit to the Castle of Edinburgh, the huge cannon called Mons Meg was fired in his honour. The charge, which was done by an English cannoneer, had probably been too large, for it caused the piece to burst. This “some foolishly called a bad omen. The Scots resented it extremely, thinking the Englishman might of malice have done it purposely, they having no cannon in all England so big as she.”

I am trying really hard not to snicker at the obvious phallic competition inherent in this struggle. Trying and failing.

With the burst hoop exposing her internal staves, Mons Meg could never be fired again. She still starred in several tugs of war between England and Scotland, though. In the wake of the Jacobite rebellion, in 1754 Mons Meg, now rusted, busted and sitting on the ground without even the dignity of a carriage, was confiscated along with other weapons to keep them out of reach of potential rebels. She was moved to the Tower of London, but she didn’t go quietly. The Tower records list a demand for compensation from the owner of the ship that brought her to London for damage to the vessel and mooring rope.

In 1829, George IV had Mons Meg returned to Edinburgh as a result of a campaign by Sir Walter Scott and the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. Scott believed fervently in a legendary Galloway origin story for Mons Meg.

When James the Second arrived with an army at Carlingwark, to besiege the Castle of Threave, the McLellans presented him with the piece of ordnance now called ‘Mons Meg.’ The first discharge of this great gun is said to have consisted of a peck of powder and a granite ball nearly as heavy as a Galloway cow. This ball is believed, in its course through the Castle of Threave, to have carried away the hand of Margaret de Douglas, commonly called the Fair Maid of Galloway, as she sat at table with her lord, and was in the act of raising the wine-cup to her lips. Old people still maintain that the vengeance of God was thereby evidently manifested, in destroying the hand which had been given in wedlock to two brothers, and that even while the lawful spouse of the first was alive.

Even without having amputated Margaret de Douglas’ hand, Mons Meg was and is still beloved. She was escorted back to Edinburgh Castle in 1829 by three cavalry troops and a regiment of foot, and remains today a great favorite with visitors to Edinburgh Castle.

The conservation is expected to be complete and Mons Meg back in place outside St. Margaret’s Chapel by the end of February.


Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Chirurgeons at Rowany Festival

SCAtoday.net - Sat, 2015-01-24 21:20

As Rowany Festival soon approaches, we are once more in need of dedicated helpers to cover our first aid requirements at the event.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Stefan's Florilegium updates for January 2015

SCAtoday.net - Sat, 2015-01-24 17:24

THLord Stefan li Rous provdes updates for Stefan's Florilegium for January 2015.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Regional A&S Gatherings: The Hael Storm Model

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sat, 2015-01-24 13:24

Submitted by Ysabeau Tiercelin.

Enjoying the fruits of our labors!

For a couple of years, we’ve been hosting monthly A&S gatherings at our home in Hamburg; they’ve become known as Hael Storms, because, well, Rhydderich Hael. But with so many groups within an hour’s radius, our goal this year is to make these truly regional A&S gathers. We are hosting the next one on Sunday the 1st, from noonish until whenever (although those of you here after 9 p.m. are watching Downton Abbey with us). Highlights this month include a cheese gnocchi class to demo the dish that was a hit at our recent Masked Ball, and dying wool in a bath over a fire to make period fishing lures.

What exactly is a Hael Storm?
Quite simply, it’s an informal A&S gathering, open to any interested participant.

Learning to make flatbread.

Our Cook’s Guild hosts the cooking portion – sometimes we just try new recipes, sometimes we have theme days where everyone brings ingredients for recipes from a specific time or culture, sometimes we do a medieval version of Chopped (mystery baskets – tongue or sardines anyone?). This month will be a bring-your-own-recipe version, so bring a recipe and the ingredients to make your dish. We have a pot luck at around 6 pm to enjoy the literal fruits of our labors. Cooking not your thing?  Bring drinks or something to share. We just ask that no-one come empty-handed.

Garb help.

The Textile Guild helps people with sewing issues, including guiding newcomers through their first garb. We embroider, knit, draft patterns, do garb research and anything else sewing related. Sewing machines and ironing boards provided! Lots of costuming books!

We have a functional scriptorium with tables, class space (we have done a raised gilding class, among others), light boards, many books with scribal inspiration, and a copy machine.

We’ve had musicians (we have a harpsichord in good tune for anyone interested) playing, a sushi demonstration, and fencing outside in good weather.

In short, if it’s A&S, you can do it at a Hael Storm. You can also just come and enjoy the fellowship!

Regional Reach

Stripping woad leaves in preparation for making woad balls.

The Kingdom is having great success with the regional martial musters, with rattan fighters and rapier fighters coming out in droves to fight and learn.

As our Region 4 A&S Minister, I’d like to encourage the same thing on the A&S side in Western New York. Carpool with a people from your group and join us for a relaxing day. These A&S days also serve as perfect newcomer gatherings, so they can meet people before jumping into garbed events.

Hosting Your Own Regional?
What do you need to host your own regional A&S gather? Not much – just someone willing to act as host in their home, an announcement in whatever media will reach the most people in your area, and participants ready to have a fun day of learning, chatting and being with friends. Go for it!

For address and directions for the Hael Storm, email Tiercelin at tiercelin@endlesshills.net.

Categories: SCA news sites

Tut’s beard glued back on like a bad craft project

History Blog - Sat, 2015-01-24 08:59

The AP reported on Thursday that the false beard on the gold funerary mask of Tutankhamun, probably the single most recognizable ancient artifact in the world, had come off and was reattached with a sloppy mess of irreversible epoxy glue. Cited in the article are three conservators at the Cairo Museum, all unnamed due to fear of reprisals, who had different stories about what happened to the beard — it was either knocked off when the mask was mishandled during cleaning of the display case or deliberately taken off because it was loose — but agreed that it was reattached hastily with epoxy.

By their accounts, museum officials ordered the beard reattached as quickly as possible because obviously it’s a massive tourist draw and they didn’t want it taken off display for any length of time. Epoxy dries almost instantly while a cautious conservation approach would use an adhesive that dries slowly over the course of at least 24 hours so adjustments could be made if necessary. It would also be reversible to allow future conservators to remove it if necessary without damage to the artifact.

“Unfortunately he used a very irreversible material — epoxy has a very high property for attaching and is used on metal or stone but I think it wasn’t suitable for an outstanding object like Tutankhamun’s golden mask,” one conservator said.

“The mask should have been taken to the conservation lab but they were in a rush to get it displayed quickly again and used this quick drying, irreversible material,” the conservator added.

The conservator said there is now a visible gap between the face and the beard. “Now you can see a layer of transparent yellow.”

There are also visible scratches. A conservator says he witnessed a colleague scrape dried epoxy from the mask with a spatula leaving scratches on the gold. Steel yourself for the picture.

The AP secured a photograph from a tourist named Jacqueline Rodriguez who was at the museum on August 12th, 2014, and took a picture of a museum worker holding the beard in place waiting for the glue to set.

The director of the Egyptian Museum Mahmoud Halwagy denied that there had been an accident damaging the mask, but it was a very weak, CYA denial that “no damage had occurred to the mask since he took over leadership of the museum last October.” He did admit that the thick, gross layer of epoxy is “very visible” (making sure to note that it could have been applied before his arrival) and that he has a committee of experts working on a report.

Qatari news site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed has a different take on the disaster that it published on the same day as the AP’s story. I suspect they were the first to break the news because they have boots on the ground, so to speak. (Before the AP, that is. There were rumblings in the Egyptian press as early as November that conservators had sent a memo to the Antiquities Minister demanding “immediate investigations regarding the odd appearance of the mask after the restoration work it encountered in August.”) They sent reporters to the museum on a tip about the botched repair. Al-Araby reporters found the lighting in the room unusually dim but they were able to detect despite the penumbra that there was a thick line of glue visible and scratches on the left side of the mask. Their sources told them that the mask was damaged during cleaning in October, not August, and that the beard was reattached in the conservation lab, not in front of visitors.

Here’s the worst part:

“After the expert restorer Abd al-Latif glued on the false beard it was obvious that it no longer appeared the same. The adhesive had spread to the sides of the mask and it was clear that there was further damage,” the witness said.

“A couple of weeks later the adhesive on the mask was noticed and a number of curators complained about what had been done.

“So the head of the conservation department removed the glass display case, with the approval of the museum director, and removed the epoxy resin from the sides by using a metal scalpel. This is what scratched the mask.”

The source says that after this, the museum director Mahmoud al-Halwagi ordered the lights in the mask room to be dimmed.

Halwagy denied to Al-Araby that the mask was ever damaged. He blames disgruntled employees angry over a department shakeup for making up stories. When Al-Araby pointed out they have a picture of the beard looking like it was glued on by kindergarteners, Egyptian antiquities department head Yusuf Khalifa said that could have been a picture of a replica, a deception perpetrated by biased sources.

Not surprisingly, the story exploded on social media. Most of the reactions are outrage at the shoddy work, but Al-Araby is seen by some as having a pro-Muslim Brotherhood bias, so neither its story nor the AP’s are considered reliable by pro-government Egyptians on Twitter and Facebook. Monica Hanna, an archaeologist with Egypt’s Heritage Task Force, went to see the mask in person and is mad as hell. Her Twitter account is very much worth following to keep abreast of the developments.

Hanna told the AFP that Egypt’s Heritage Task Force is going to file a complaint with the public prosecutor. There’s a law in Egypt against destruction, damage, defacement or alteration of antiquities. Anyone convicted of taking part in such activities will be sentenced to five to seven years in jail and fined between 3,000 ($400) and 50,000 ($6,700) Egyptian pounds.

So that’s where things stand as of now. The Antiquities Minister is apparently planning an urgent press conference to address the situation, although I’d be stunned if any actual information, as opposed to denials and justifications, came from it.

Finally, after reading/viewing a metric ton of news about this debacle, I am compelled to dedicate special opprobrium to CNN for this absurdity of a report. The laughter, fixed smiles, the omg-aren’t-word-stumbles-hilarious digression and the ridiculous and offensive comparison of a cultural patrimony calamity to a viral joke make me want to outspit a llama.


Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Equestrian Events for Autocrats and Event Organizers

AEthelmearc Gazette - Fri, 2015-01-23 19:12

By Mistress Shishido Tora Gozen.

This article is specifically tailored towards those persons interested in adding equestrian activities to their event, focusing on the important steps that should be followed.


  • Plan on contacting the Equestrian Marshal staff at least 6 months before the event.
  • An Equestrian Marshal must be present when horses are on site.
  • Marshal staff will advise you if an Æthelmearc Equestrian Marshal is available for your event.
  • Marshal staff will advise you regarding equestrian insurance, and other requirements and assist with meeting these requirements.


Prior to adding equestrian activities to your event, several questions must be answered. These include:

  • Is this potential site suitable for equestrians? An Equestrian Marshal will determine this by inspecting the site.
  • The inspection will evaluate specific issues relative to horses such as footing for the horses, water availability, and other safety concerns.
  • Permission for equestrian activities must be verified with the site owner. Marshals can answer specific questions raised by the property owner regarding horses.
  • Space for horse camping, availability of stalls and trailer parking must be determined.
  • Information regarding these issues will be disseminated to equestrian participants prior to the event by the Equestrian Marshal.


A special insurance rider must be activated in order to have equestrian activities at an event. This includes any equestrian activity, even if the horses are used only for processions.

  • Equestrian Insurance fees are $50.
  • Insurance must be ordered at least 30 days prior to the event.
  • Late fees after this deadline, are $175.
  • Insurance may be ordered by the Autocrat or Equestrian Marshal in Charge.
  • A copy of the insurance will be provided to the Kingdom Equestrian Officer (KEO) at least two weeks prior to the event date.


  • The SCA requires the posting of two signs regarding Equine Liability Law at all events where equestrian activities are conducted.
  • This applies to any event where horses are present, even if only for use in processions.
  • Usually the Equestrian Marshal will provide and ensure these signs are posted.
  • Signs are ordinarily posted at Troll and the main equestrian area.
  • Society Rules detail sign requirements.
  • Society Rules require all persons with a high probability of having direct contact with equines to sign an equestrian wavier.
  • Events which limit contact to the equestrians require only equestrians to sign this form. This includes riders, handlers, and grounds-people. The Equestrian Marshal will ensure signatures are obtained and copies are forwarded to the Waiver Clerk.
  • At events where all attendees could have direct contact with equines, all attendees will sign this form, which will ordinarily be placed at Troll. Troll staff or the Equestrian Marshal will ensure copies are forwarded to the Waiver Clerk.

Most of the extra steps required will be completed by the Equestrian Marshal, but the Autocrat needs to be familiar with these requirements, especially those with time limits. Despite the fact equestrian activities require these additional steps, it is worthwhile to consider adding equestrian activities to your event. It adds a special effect and pageantry to the event. The additional activity also promises to add to your attendance numbers. It is my hope that Autocrats and Event Organizers will consider adding this activity to their event schedules.

Categories: SCA news sites

Resignation of the Society Chirurgeon

SCAtoday.net - Fri, 2015-01-23 19:00

At the Jan 2015 quarterly board meeting, the board accepted the resignation of the Society Chirurgeon, and directed the President to handle the responsibilities of that office until further notice.

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Categories: SCA news sites